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A good tip would be to ask your friends and colleagues if they want to host their websites with you on one account. For example at M6.net a person or persons with 4 websites can save roughly $20 per month by signing up an M6-2, multiple hosting account.
Databases and Scripting Support — Ensure that all applications your web site uses (FrontPage, ASP pages, databases, cgi, PHP, etc.), are supported within chosen account type. Find out if there are any extra fees for particular applications or associated database support. For example allot of hosts charge extra set-up fees to install FrontPage, which may be avoided by choosing another host offering same features with no extra costs.
Mail Server — Emails are lifeblood of your online business. Ensure that you get a sufficient number of email addresses with your own domain name (preferably unlimited); these are necessary for other email features like forwarders, and auto responders, etc. There is no need to pay an extra fee for use of a mail server as many hosts offer this service now for free, within hosting plan.
Avoid Long Term Contracts — Many web hosts offer huge discounts on yearly or half yearly payments in advance, this may appear a good way to go, but note how long you are locked in. If possible avoid long-term contracts until you are sure about services and reliability offered by that particular host. Paying on a monthly basis obviously has its benefits. If there are concerns with your service encouraging you to seek a new host elsewhere, you may lose out on many months of hosting fees when breaking a yearly or half-yearly contract; but, if necessity arises, a loss of only a few days to close a troublesome account, is preferable.
Thinking ahead with reference to an established plan of action will help you avoid most surprises, and definitely help towards cutting costs, short term or long-term. Work out your growth rate and project future expansions. Keep a good record of past and present bandwidth and web space usage; this will help to project future needs.
Savings are mostly a matter of common sense, but in this industry of high technology most people forget this rule and try to look for best, most efficient and most expensive technical programs and software to save them a buck or two. As in most businesses good cost effective groundwork is best start to cutting costs.
Paras Shah Chief Technology Officer VIP PowerNet, Inc. Houston, TX. USA. http://www.vipwh.com http://www.vippowernet.com